How do you know when you have a hit on your hands? When your competitors complain about it.
Over the weekend, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act constituted a “new assertive industrial policy” and that Europe needed a “structural answer.”
Von der Leyen’s measured words contrast with some of her earlier statements and those of other EU officials.
The first hints that the one-two punch of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the IRA were landing potentially knockout blows came in October, when the EU’s competition commissioner called the the IRA in particular an “unbalanced subsidy.” Then, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that the IRA “could create a major shock on European industry” and that its passage was a “major problem for us.” Last week, French President Emanuel Macron stepped up the rhetoric, calling the law “super aggressive” toward European companies.
After years of trying to coax the U.S. into taking more action on climate change, Europe finally got a response. Problem is, it wasn’t the one they wanted.